Bahamas News

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Mexican Wave Energy Project Moving Forward

capital.The Manzanillo project, which expects to receive final permits in the coming weeks, will cost around $15 million. A chunk of the financing will come from the Israeli company but much of it will be raised by the Mexican venture partner.Delarue, who is also working on a wave energy project in the Bahamas, said construction should start this year once financing and permits fall into place, though admitted that, in some cases, “Mexican investors... are not used to investing in start-up projects.”Aside from Mexico, Braverman said her company was waiting to start work on a 5-megawatt wave

The William B Morgan Large Cavitation Channel (LCC) is a large variable-pressure closed-loop water tunnel that has been operated by the U.S. Navy in Memphis since 1991. This facility is well designed for a wide variety of hydrodynamic and hydroacoustic tests. Its overall size and capabilities allow test-model Reynolds numbers to approach, or even achieve, those of full-scale air- or water-borne transportation systems. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Navy Tests Scale Models in Big Facilities

evaluations in turns and captive model stability and control experiments. The center also has access to a reservoir in Maryland where scaled models of both ships and submarines are tested.But some of Carderock’s most impressive capabilities reside far away, at facilities from the Alaska to the Bahamas, and from Tennessee to Idaho.Carderock’s Combat Craft division in Little Creek, Va., manages a number of small craft projects to include design, construction, acquisition and sustainment.The South Tongue of the Ocean Acoustic Measurement Facility (STAFAC) in the Bahamas and the Southeast Alaska

Phoenix International Holdings Celebrates 20 Years

9001-2008 Management System certified company with headquarters in Largo, Md., Phoenix operates out of seven regional office facilities on the East, Gulf and West Coasts of the U.S. catering to both military and commercial clients. The company also has prepositioned diving equipment packages in Freeport Bahamas, Bahrain and Japan for international support, as well as a joint venture for its atmospheric diving system in Australia.   Mike Kutzleb, Phoenix CEO, said, “Watching the company flourish and prosper has been an incredible journey filled with remarkable opportunities and challenges.

Cyclops 1 and Ms. Lars under tow (Photo: OceanGate Expeditions)

Manned Submersible Divers to Study Sharks in the Bahamas

 A yearlong expedition in the Bahamas has been planned to assess sharks and sea life hidden in the deep ocean.   Beginning in October 2017, an exploration team aboard a manned submersible will aim to uncover new details on deep sea sharks and the variety of species that inhabit the waters off the Great Bahama Bank continental shelf.    OceanGate Expeditions – a team undersea explorers, scientists, and filmmakers who use manned submersibles – together with researchers from the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) will conduct multiple weeks of diving each season over a

WHOI scientists used deep-sea vehicles, including Sentry to locate the voyage data recorder (above) from the El Faro on the seafloor 15,000 feet deep. The VDR offers clues to understand why the ship tragically sank in 2015, killing 33 crew members aboard. (Photo: NTSB)

Why Did the El Faro Sink?

Deep-sea vehicles locate data recorder on the seafloor   On October 1, 2015, the 790-foot cargo ship El Faro sank near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin. All 33 crew members died in the tragedy. The ship was equipped with a voyage data recorder, or VDR, that could reveal clues to understand what happened, but it was lost in the depths.   The VDR was mounted on the mast on the ship’s navigation bridge. A search expedition mounted in October located the wreck and discovered that the bridge had separated from the hull. Days later, when the search team located the bridge, the mast

Image: Phoenix

Phoenix Assists in Recovering El Faro’s VDR

the VDR from a water depth of 15,000 feet. Following the recovery, the VDR was transferred to National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) investigators onboard USNS Apache.   El Faro went missing on October 1, 2015 while operating in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin near Crooked Island in the Bahamas. In late October 2015, Phoenix, under the direction of SUPSALV, located the sunken ship using the U.S. Navy’s deepwater side scan sonar search system Orion. The Phoenix team then launched CURV-21 to verify and visually inspect the wreckage

El Faro's voyage data recorder next to the ship's mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

New Mission Set to Retrieve El Faro's VDR

during that mission was used by investigators to plot “high probability” search zones for the second mission in April, which resulted in the location of the mast and VDR. The wreckage is in approximately 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles (36 nautical miles) northeast of Crooked Islands, Bahamas.   USNS Apache is expected to arrive at Mayport, Fla., between August 16-20, following completion of the mission.   The cost for this mission is expected to be $500,000, bringing the total for the three missions to approximately $3 million

Construction of FIO’s new research vessel is expected to be completed in summer 2017 (Image: Boksa Marine Design)

FIO’s New Research Vessel Enters Build Phase

2015 for the design of a new vessel to replace its current research vessel, the 71’ R/V Bellows.   Originally built in 1968, FIO has operated the research boat since 1979 as a floating laboratory for scientists and students studying in the waterways of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas.   FIO is a Florida Academic Infrastructure Support Organization, collaboratively working with 27 educational institutions and agencies from across the state to maximize marine research and education resources. The goal of the Florida Institute of Oceanography is to “provide a forum

El Faro's voyage data recorder next to the ship's mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

US Aims to Recover El Faro VDR in Next Few Months

voyage data recorder from the cargo ship El Faro, which sank during a hurricane killing all 33 crew on board, over the next two to three months, an agency official said on Thursday. A surveillance trip to the site where the ship sank last year, some 15,000 feet (4,600 meters) below sea level off the Bahamas, pinpointed the location of the recorder on April 26. It should contain navigational data and the last 12 hours of audio on the ship's bridge, Brian Curtis, acting director of the Office of Marine Safety at the NTSB, told reporters. He spoke after the voyage to locate the recorder returned to

The WHOI-designed and -built Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry was used to locate the voyage data recorder from the sunken cargo ship El Faro. (Photo by Walter Cho, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI Helps Locate El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder

Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have located the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the U.S. flagged cargo ship El Faro, which sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015, killing all 33 crew aboard.    The VDR was located at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday in the waters between Florida and the Bahamas at a depth of approximately 4,600 meters. The team used a tandem system of unique vehicles to locate the coffee can-sized recorder: The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry, a one-of-a-kind vehicle designed and built by WHOI with funding from the National Science Foundation for oceanographic

Voyage data recorder next to El Faro's mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

Another Mission Needed to Recover El Faro’s VDR

that given the VDR’s proximity to the mast and other obstructions, recovery of the VDR cannot be accomplished with the equipment currently available on the ship, the NTSB said.   The VDR was located April 26 in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas. Video and photographic images released by the NTSB showed that the VDR appears to be attached to a steel beam connected to the mast structure.    “Now that we have been able to see just how the VDR is oriented relative to the mast structure, it’s clear that we’re going

Voyage data recorder next to El Faro mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located

The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced.   A specialist team comprised of investigators and scientists from the NTSB, the U.S. Coast Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Tote Services, the owner and operator of El Faro, located the VDR using remotely operated undersea search equipment. Video footage showing El Faro's VDR is available here.   At about 1 a.m. EDT the team

The CURV ROV is prepared for the search (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

SUPSALV & Finding El Faro

on salvage and diving safety. Given that scope, could you share with our readers a ‘case study’ or two which you feel best exemplifies the capability of your office? First, I’d site two recent marine incidents. The first is the M/V El Faro which went missing on or about Oct. 1 in the Bahamas. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the conduct of their safety investigation deemed they needed SUPALV’s experience and resources. With our long standing working relationship, we quickly partnered and developed plans to search for, locate, conduct a Side Scan Sonar survey

EL Faro sits in 15,000 feet of water near the Bahamas (Photo: NTSB)

NTSB to Search for El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder

information about the challenges encountered by the crew in trying to save the ship,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Getting that information could be very helpful to our investigation.”   Search crews located the 790-foot ship in about 15,000 feet of water near the Bahamas on October 31, and over the next few weeks the ship and the debris field were documented with a video camera mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).   Video revealed that the navigation bridge structure and the deck below it had separated from the ship. The missing structure included

Figure 1. SST and Navy personnel recover STAFAC array in November, 2015. (Photo: SST)

SST Completes Engineering Project for the US Navy

Inc. (SST) has recently completed the recovery, upgrade and redeployment of an undersea acoustic array which is part of a system the used by the U.D. Navy for subsea acoustic measurements (Figure 1). The array is moored near The South Tongue of the Ocean Acoustic Facility (STAFAC) on Andros Island, Bahamas (Figure 2) and has a tracking and communication system and seafloor cable system for power and telemetry. The system consists of two vertical high gain measurement system (HGMS) array structures moored in 4,000 feet of water; an underwater tracking and communication system; and a seafloor cable

Distant view of detached El Faro navigation bridge (Photo: NTSB)

NTSB Releases El Faro Images & Video

on the NTSB’s YouTube channel. The U.S. flagged ship, owned by Sea Star Line, LLC, and operated by TOTE Services, went missing on October 1 during Hurricane Joaquin and was located on October 31 in about 15,000 feet of water in the vicinity of its last known position near Crooked Island, Bahamas. Twenty-eight U.S. crewmembers and five Polish workers were on board.  

Image: NOAA

Tropical Storm Kate Halts El Faro Salvage Operation

Salvage operations for the sunken cargo ship El Faro were suspended on Friday due to Tropical Storm Kate, which moved through the Bahamas with winds of 45 miles (75 km) per hour, U.S. authorities said.   The El Faro sank off the southern Bahamas in a hurricane last month with the loss of 33 mostly American crew. Its wreck was located on the seafloor in 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) of water a little over a week ago.   A U.S. Navy salvage tug, Apache, is searching for the ship's bridge and voyage data recorder, which became separated from the wreck, the U.S. National Transportation Safety

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